Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is the most uplifting, life-giving, and exciting process I have ever come across. It is truly a delight to facilitate and a wonder to see the powerful effect is has on people in organisations.  I can't rave about it enough! 

The AI approach is a journey that engages people in creating the sort of organisation that they want to live and work in.  It focuses on what happens when things are at their best. When you focus on the positive, it becomes the energizer for the future, and it generates information about what to build on for organisational success. 

AI is a collaborative, strengths-based approach to Organisational Development. Appreciative Inquiry encourages and elicits solutions, encouraging groups to consciously and deliberately shift their way of being and seeing to an appreciative approach, that will help them focus on what's right, and good, and life-giving in their organization.  We use what we discover to then build and design ways to make sure that what works well becomes the norm and not the exception.   It is about choice, understanding, attention to detail and responsibility. 

An example would be a situation where an organisation is undergoing change of some sort. The AI process would win the buy-in for that change by getting employees to recall when and how they have handled change in the past, and to acknowledge that in the past they have survived and contributed to change. When they realise that they do have experiences of change that worked in the past, they are willing then to participate in designing and contributing to the change that is now needed in the organisation.  And that is the point at which we innovate for what will be.

Another example may be where  team members are at loggerheads with each other. We ask the team what is their wish for this team.  They may, for example, say they wish for trust and open communication. We then ask them to remember a time when they experienced teamwork where trust and open communication existed. Through that process, they come to discover that they are all able to trust and be trusted, and they are then willing to build the future, designing what they need in order to foster that trust amongst themselves.

In the words of David Cooperider:

 “Appreciative Inquiry is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. In AI the arduous task of intervention gives way to the speed of imagination and innovation; instead of negation, criticism, and spiralling diagnosis, there is discovery, dream, and design. AI seeks, fundamentally, to build a constructive union between a group of people and the stories that they bring: achievements, assets, unexplored potentials, innovations, strengths, elevated thoughts, opportunities, benchmarks, high point moments, lived values, traditions, strategic competencies, stories, expressions of wisdom, insights into the deeper corporate spirit or soul-- and visions of valued and possible futures. Taking all of these together AI deliberately, in everything it does, seeks to work from accounts of this “positive change core”—and it assumes that every living system has many untapped and rich and inspiring accounts of the positive. Link the energy of this core directly to any change agenda and changes never thought possible are suddenly and democratically mobilized.” 

Go to my "Product and Services" page for info on how to bring AI into your organisation!



Appreciative Inquiry is better understood when you experience it, than when you read about it. For that reason I have put together a one-hour presentation and demo that gives you a taste of what it is like to go through the process. In that way you are able to discern where and how we can bring it into your organisation.  Get a few decision-makers together in your organisation who would like to attend, and then contact me to book your demo.



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